DAYTON, Ohio – A jury was set to hear opening arguments Thursday in the trial of a woman accused of killing her 1-month-old daughter by burning her in a microwave oven.
The jury for 27-year-old China Arnold's aggravated murder trial was seated Wednesday evening. If convicted, she could face the death penalty.
Investigators believe Arnold killed her daughter, Paris Talley, by putting her in a microwave at her Dayton home in August 2005.
Coroner's officials say the baby suffered high-heat internal injuries and had no external burns. They have ruled out scalding water, open flame or other possible causes of death that could have damaged the skin.
Defense attorney Jon Paul Rion has said Arnold had nothing to do with her daughter's death and was stunned when investigators told her that a microwave might have been involved. Arnold took the baby to the hospital after finding her unconscious and does not know how she died, Rion said.
During a pretrial hearing in July, Detective Michael Galbraith said Arnold told him she arrived home in the early morning hours after drinking, fell asleep and was awakened at 2:30 a.m. by the baby's crying.
She said she warmed a bottle in the microwave oven, tried to give it to the baby, changed the child's diaper and fell asleep on the couch with the baby on her chest.
Arnold said she and her children were the only ones in the apartment until her boyfriend arrived several hours later and noticed something was wrong with the baby.